Armando Alleyne. A Few of My Favorites
A deliberately unpretentious monograph profiles the still relatively unknown New York-based painter Armando Alleyne in a fascinating mixture of catalogue and biography. The expansive medium-format softcover publication rests very comfortably in the hand, and the uniform white margins around the pictures as well as the generous white space around the text render the content easy and accessible on first inspection. In the picture section, the colourful, often blotchy paintings (including numerous portraits) are mostly presented in isolation on a page, with individual pages of full-bleed ‘zoom-ins’ focusing on painterly details inserted in between. The image and text section that follows combines smaller illustrations of works and photos from Alleyne’s life with biographical notes and texts by the artist. Without the need for categories, chapters or intertitles to elucidate its structure, the book offers a striking blend of perspectives that brings the artist’s life and work together. The outstanding cover design features an abstract collage of a mask-like face standing free against a white background and with no textual information at all. The old typology of the book cover bearing a portrait is reinterpreted, in homage to a dated tradition.